Surprises all around for Elly Palumbo


When Elly Palumbo left her Johnston home on Simmonsville Avenue back on June 27, she had no idea what was about to transpire.

“Hey, after fifty years of marriage, everyone is entitled to a little spoof,” said Vin Palumbo. “It wasn’t exactly one of those so-called white lies; it’s just that I wanted the love of my life to be surprised.”

So the couple got into their pick-up truck, which always features a good-size American flag that Vinny flies “in honor of those servicemen and women who gave their lives for our freedom,” and headed towards the Young Pannese Society Club in Silver Lake.

That trend, by the way, was the Palumbo’s norm on Thursdays when they’d visit the small yet popular Italian-American Club for a night of oldies music “like you’ve never heard before.”

Vin Palumbo told Elly there was no show on Thursday of that week, that’s why they were going on that Wednesday, June 27.

Even when the couple arrived and found the parking lot filled with cars – yet there was a special spot saved by Gerry Couillard for their truck – Elly had no idea what was going to happen as she entered the club.

Almost as soon as Vinny opened the door for Elly, people inside the Yong Pannese Club were standing and immediately shouted “surprise, surprise!”

To which Elly asked Vinny, “What did you do? You’re nuts!”

Although tears trickled down Elly’s face, as well as many of her long-time friends that showed up, she was shocked over what her husband did, especially after they recently celebrated their 50th anniversary with a gala at Ralph’s Kitchen that’s located inside the Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812 on the Cranston-Johnston line.

When asked why he held such a birthday bash on the heels of the couple’s unique 50th anniversary celebration, Vinny Palumbo said, “We’re still very much in love and I wanted to surprise Elly on the day of her 78th birthday and to say thank you to those people who brought gifts to our recent party.”

And, just as the couple did for Golden Anniversary, Vinny pulled out all the stops for Elly’s 78th birthday bash, and hiredRalph’s Catering

The cake, though, was no ordinary birthday cake. It featured pictures of the couple’s many visits to Graceland, the home of Vinny’s all-time music man Elvis Presley.

“Vinny even brought in ‘Elvis’ for a special appearance,” said Lisa D’Ambra, the marketing mogul for Starzz Entertainment said of Johnston resident Steve Quirini who does Elvis impersonations replete with a great singing voice. “And, Vinny wanted special decorations and more oldies music.”

Clean Blend, formerly Flashbacks, which features Reminisce veterans Jack Mento and Ron Iacobucci along with Tom Falcone, Peter Goneconte and Maria Russo, helped make Elly Palumbo’s 78th birthday bash – which was held on her exact birth date – extra special with everything from soup to nuts and beyond.


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